Jul 112016

Austen's Independence DayWho Will Set Jane Austen’s Ghost Free?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Austen-Inspired (not modern-day adaptation), Mature Audiences

SETTING: A small town in Texas named Austen, present-day

MAIN CHARACTERS: Macey Henwood (bartender and want-to-be writer who plans to remain independent and never marry) and Morgan Thornbrush (Macey’s lifelong best friend – with sometimes benefits – who wants to be an artist)

SYNOPSIS: In Austen, Texas Jane Austen’s ghost is trapped in a prison cell of a local bar. Legend has it that her ghost will only be set free if two soul mates marry in the presence of her ghost. And it just so happens that two couples are about to tie the knot this summer. Will one of them give Jane Austen’s ghost her independence?


  • Macey and Morgan: I found our heroine and hero to very likable, original, and relatable. I love that they both had creative outlets and how they share their deepest secrets with each other. Macey has some hang-ups about marriage because she doesn’t want to be unhappy like her parents (who’ve divorced each other four times!). She believes Morgan feels the same way because of the pact they made together when they were 17 to never marry anyone period. But now he is engaged and it rocks her to her

    “Julianne fell in love with her best friend the day he decided to marry someone else.”

    core…kind of like when Julia Roberts found out her long-time best friend, Michael, was getting married in My Best Friend’s Wedding. It’s interesting to see how Macey copes with and sorts out her confused and frustrated feelings regarding Morgan’s impending marriage to Gigi.

  • Friends Who Become More: I love that Macey and Morgan have been friends forever and I love that their current relationship is one of “casual benefits.” It was interesting to see how things played out with these two – they blurred the lines between friends and lovers, have undeniable attraction and feelings for each other, but both seem to want different things.
  • The History: Macey has been writing in her diary once a year since her childhood, and it is only after Morgan becomes engaged that she goes back to read over all her older entries. I loved this part. I loved learning the significant events of both Macey’s and Morgan’s lives and seeing how they were brought closer together by them. It was interesting to see the full journey of their relationship, the special gifts they’ve given each other, and understand the importance of their pact with each other.
  • It’s Fun and Sexy: With the paranormal twist, cursed ghost, and intense attraction between Macey and Morgan this story was a wonderfully enjoyable light-hearted diversion. I especially loved the tension and chemistry between Macey and Morgan. While things would heat up pretty quickly between them, I also loved seeing how engaged their feelings were for each other.


  • Sometimes Far-Fetched: I don’t mind suspending my disbelief and I was totally on board with Jane Austen’s ghost residing in Texas. But I guess the part that sometimes felt a little harder (and confusing) to follow was the bit about the spell and how and why Jane Austen’s ghost got trapped in Texas.

WARNING: Since this story contains the use of strong language and some intimate romantic scenes I’d recommend this story for mature audiences.

CONCLUSION: Austen’s Independence Day is a fresh and flirty read, perfect for summer! I’d recommend this story to readers who enjoy small town settings, paranormal elements, engaging characters, Jane Austen, and contemporary romances!

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Melissa has kindly offered 1 LOVELY ebook of Austen’s Independence Day for me to randomly give away to ONE lucky reader in conjunction with her visit here last Friday and today’s review!

Austen's Independence Day

To enter this giveaway leave a comment on my review!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Melissa!
  • This giveaway ends July 15th!
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  18 Responses to “Austen’s Independence Day – Melissa Belle + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    I do like this idea although how Jane’s ghost arrived in Texas is anyone’s guess! Great review Meredith and as usual it has inspired me to want to read this. Thanks for the giveaway Melissa. Fingers crossed


    I love stories that has friends becoming more. 🙂


    Sounds like such a fun read!


    Although I am not overyly fond of paranormal, this book sounds really interesting. I would love to read about the angst between the two main characters, and it sounds like a great summer read. Thank you for the good review and giveaway.


      I’m the same as you, Eva. And I was glad to see that this story doesn’t have a large paranormal component, just a ghost that needs to be set free…according to legend. Definitely a perfect summer read!


    I love paranormal and this certainly sounds like a completely different take on Austen. I would normally bypass this but your reviews are always spot on Meredith so it’s definitely worth a whirl.


    This looks fun! It ticks a lot of the boxes I like – spiciness, friends becoming a couple, Jane Austen, and ghosts! Poor Jane, to be trapped in a jail cell! I’m happy it was a great read for you, Meredith.


    Ooh, I always love a sideways Austen tale. Writing one myself at the moment. I’m totally inspired by what other writers come up with. It’s sounds fun.


    We can say that Jane ghost followed somebody from England to Texas and that’s why she there. I’m shocked I didn’t think of My Best Friend’s Wedding since I love Rom-Coms.


    This certainly seems to have a lot of different twists from those we usually read in JAFF. I find Austen trapped in Texas quite a stretch. Guess I will only know how that happens if i read the book. Thanks for the review, Meredith.

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